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Facebook’s Free Basics Shuts Down In Egypt, Continuing Troubled Run

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jan 03, 2016 06:11 AM
The report was published by TV Newsroom on January 1, 2016. Pranesh Prakash gave inputs.

“This isn’t about Facebook’s commercial interests – there aren’t even any ads in the version of Facebook in Free Basics”, he said. Initiatives like are attempting to change that, but not without backlash. A similar proposal called zero internet was put forward later by Airtel.

Facebook now has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

“The India fight is helping shape debates elsewhere”, said Pranesh Prakash, policy director at the Centre for Internet and Society, a Bangalore-based nonprofit advocacy group.

That prompted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to write an op-ed piece published in the Times of India that asks, “Who could possibly be against this?” There was fulsome praise for Modi from the young internet billionaire. Etisalat Egypt could not be reached for comment at this time. “For example, Facebook can just provide 50 or 100 megabytes for their data connection free every month”.

On Wednesday, Trai extended the last date for submission of comments and counter comment to 7 and 14 January, respectively.

But Zuckerberg is not having a walk in the park with this Free Basics proposition. It sounds a perfectly good idea. is a partnership, led by Facebook and including Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera, Nokia and Qualcomm. Through a deal between Facebook and local mobile operators, the data to access those services is free.

The coalition has said that Facebook is misleading users and cautioned that the free service could be replete with advertising if and when it’s implemented. Similarly, signature drives are going on by those staunchly opposed to it. Now the problem for this is that we had asked for response to the specific question of differential pricing… instead we have got responses on supporting Free Basics.

Those campaigning to protect net neutrality in India suggest data providers should not favour some online services over others by offering cheaper or faster access.

The founders and executives mention that the difference in pricing through zero rating “affects the ability of new players to compete” with well-established companies. A situation where the haves can access the Internet and enjoy its tremendous opportunities and the have nots are kept out. Zuckerberg said that India’s progress depends on providing Web access to the 1 billion Indians without it.

Listing three main flaws within the programme, the scientists urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to “completely reject” Facebook’s “free fundamentals” proposal. Such as providing a tiered system of broad band access.

It would make sense for the government to target free Internet services while it clamps down on physical gathering places.

Read the original here.